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Tips to Help You Maintain Your Home's Value
As consumers continue to feel the squeeze, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reminds homeowners and those eager to sell to look get their home inspected by a professional when considering options for buying, selling or maintaining their home in a down market. What's more, the organization recommends ensuring your inspector of choice is an ASHI Certified Inspectors.
"ASHI has taken steps to arm its members with the resources and support to provide a diverse range of services for homeowners," said Brion Grant, 2008 ASHI president. "We know that one-size doesn't fit all in this market. From energy audits to maintenance inspections, phased-inspections and more, we're arming members with tools to diversify their services so that they can meet the needs of the public."
Energy audits are among the core services that ASHI is encouraging its members to fine-tune so consumers have the benefit of potential cost savings.
"With the cost of fuel skyrocketing, energy audits can uncover inefficiencies and point to savings," added Grant. "ASHI is working in conjunction with a certifying organization to provide opportunities for training and certification so that its members can offer this ancillary service nationally."
Another service homeowners may not think about is maintenance inspections. "Maintenance should be at the top of every seller's list this year, said Grant. "In this market, home buyers have more properties to choose from, and will look closely at how well a home has been kept up."
Homeowners who are serious about selling their home should consider hiring an inspector to conduct a maintenance inspection, which includes checking everything from the foundation, roof and gutters, to a home's exterior and interior walls, electrical wiring and plumbing. ASHI also offers a maintenance checklist, a list of items in the home that should be maintained annually or by season. Those interested in obtaining a copy of ASHI's home maintenance checklist should contact a local ASHI Certified Inspector via ASHI's Website www.ASHI.org.
With a record number of homes sitting vacant and sellers chomping at the bit to unload their home, buyers are at risk, too. Before purchasing a home, ASHI encourages buyers to hire an inspector to conduct a pre-sale inspection to determine its quality, efficiency and safety. "There are a lot of people who are willing to do whatever it takes to sell their homes," said Grant. "In a market like this, people are quick to jump in because of the rock-bottom price rather than the quality and safety of the home." And, with many bank-owned properties being sold "as is," meaning the seller will not be performing any repairs, pre-sale inspections can provide vital information about costly defects.
Phased inspections are also a good way to protect the interests of people who are building a home from scratch. By engaging a home inspector early on, even in the site selection, homeowners can benefit from having an inspector assess the quality of construction at every step. From pouring the foundation, to closing the walls, home inspectors can provide an unbiased assessment of a home that will save homeowners time and money.